Author(s)

Rachel Graeff

Date Approved

9-12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Public Relations

Department

Public Relations/Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

FitzGerald, Suzanne

Subject(s)

Vocational education--Marketing

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The problem is that the large majority of high school graduates pursue four-year college degrees when there are not enough professional jobs that require four-year degrees but rather require workers to have job-specific skills. These skills are taught by vocational schools at both the high school and the post-secondary levels. The purpose of this study was to determine what public relations techniques vocational schools use and how they can improve on these techniques to increase enrollment. Six in-depth interviews were conducted with PR/marketing practitioners at vocational schools to find out what techniques and channels their school uses to attract students. Practitioners were also asked about trends in enrollment, why they believe students do not attend vocational schools and what they believe are factors that affect enrollment. Additionally, this researcher conducted 120 student intercept survey to determine how satisfied students are with particular aspects of their school. Students were also asked to give two recommendations to better their school and list the two best aspects of their school. Research determined the majority of vocational students were satisfied with their school and would recommend it to others. Students listed the quality of education and teachers as the best aspects of their school. The majority of students heard about their school through word-of-mouth, from family and friends, teachers or school counselors.

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